Passage: Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously?" But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
Journal: James drives home his core admonishment; that is, "friendship with the world is enmity with God." This was true with original sin in the Garden of Eden, where man befriended the prince of this world and became estranged from God. This is true today at work, where one may be tempted by the allure of pop culture or "innocent" gossip. The unbeliever gives a tip of the hat to God, asking for self gratifying blessing if speaking to God at all ("You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures."). Yet, the core belief system and resulting lifestyle are altogether too worldly and selfish. James describes this as adultery, an intercourse with the world that breaches a faithful and lawful relationship with God. This spiritual unfaithfulness is the mark of the unconverted, for there is a longing for what the world desires and there is a vacuum of a desire for God. Thus, there is a contrasting juxtaposition here; for a friend of the world is an enemy of God ("Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."). This friend of the world, this enemy of God, becomes this way because of pride. Actually, the unbeliever does not become prideful, since pride is inherent in one's being, but rather never develops a God honoring humility. However, the one that resists the allure of the world and instead reaches for the glory of God has experienced God's grace ("Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously?' But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: 'God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.'"). This "graceful" living may endure ridicule and resistance from the world, but it is in this endurance that the glory of God is greatly manifested and magnified to the world.